Me and a Guy Named Elvis
My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley
Publication Date: August 17, 2006
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An intimate memoir of a friendship with the greatest artist in rock and roll history, taking you from late-night parties at Graceland to the bright lights of Hollywood sets and glittering stages of Vegas
On a lazy Sunday in 1954, twelve-year-old Jerry Schilling wandered into a Memphis touch football game, only to discover that his team was quarterbacked by a nineteen-year-old Elvis Presley, the local teenager whose first record, "That's All Right," had just debuted on Memphis radio. The two became fast friends, even as Elvis turned into the world's biggest star. In 1964, Elvis invited Jerry to work for him as part of his "Memphis Mafia," and Jerry soon found himself living with Elvis full-time in a Bel Air mansion and, later, in his own room at Graceland. Over the next thirteen years Jerry would work for Elvis in various capacities--from bodyguard to photo double to co-executive producer on a karate film. But more than anything else he was Elvis's close friend and confidant: Elvis trusted Jerry with protecting his life when he received death threats, he asked Jerry to drive him and Priscilla to the hospital the day Lisa Marie was born and to accompany him during the famous "lost weekend" when he traveled to meet President Nixon at the White House.
Me and a Guy Named Elvis looks at Presley from a friend's perspective, offering readers the man rather than the icon--including insights into the creative frustrations that lead to Elvis's abuse of prescription medicine and his tragic death. Jerry offers never-before-told stories about life inside Elvis's inner circle and an emotional recounting of the great times, hard times, and unique times he and Elvis shared. These vivid memories will be priceless to Elvis's millions of fans, and the compelling story will fascinate an even wider audience. BACKCOVER: Advance Praise for Me and a Guy Named Elvis
"This book kept me up late into the night as I turned the pages, reliving every situation and every story as if I were there all over again, until I finished. Jerry Schilling's words brought tears to my eyes, making me smile and nod as it filled my head with things I had forgotten but thankfully he remembered. Jerry tells his story with the freshness and purity of a man who truly loved his friend. Me and a Guy Named Elvis is not only authentic, honest, and truly moving--it is a marvel."
"Jerry had the keys to the kingdom, the keys to the King's houses, to the King's cars, to the heart of what made Elvis a King in the first place. Here he unlocks every door and his own heart to boot. In this book, Jerry Schilling brings grace to Graceland."
"Jerry Schilling has captured the beauty of my father's spirit in a way that has never been done before. I will admit that I was nervous to read another book on this subject, especially by a friend (there are not many who remain in my life from this time period, as Jerry does), but this book is by far my favorite. It is a captivating, well-written, and un-crucifying account of many historic moments that shows the real birth and evolution of Rock and Roll and how it bridged the racial divide. Jerry tells his story of a young boy growing up poor with no real family before fate changed his life during one Sunday afternoon game of football--and he tells it with humility, honesty, and dignity."
--Lisa Marie Presley
"What Jerry Schilling has written in Me and a Guy Named Elvis is an account of one man's experience, a personal memoir that, while it places its narrator squarely in the midst of historic events, never claims credit for those events in the way that so many self-serving memoirs are inclined to do. It is a balanced treatment of a complex subject . . . What I think distinguishes the book most of all, though, is its emotional honesty, the generosity of spirit with which Jerry seeks to emulate his friend and mentor."
--Peter Guralnick, author of Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love